Thailand’s party scene is well-known. The infamous full moon parties and movies like the hangover have done their part on portraying this paradise as THE place to be if you want to party.
While I don’t mind the occasional night out, I’m not a party animal and traveling to a different country just to party is not my personal idea of a great vacation.
I found myself presented with a bit of a challenge when planing for my trip. Everything I wanted to see other people had wanted to see too and while I was mentally prepared for the Crowds at Koh Phi Phi, I wasn’t quite ready for hotels full of drunk tourists.
I did not want to go “off the beaten path only” because all the pictures I had seen of the islands surrounding Phuket looked pretty dang awesome and I wanted to see for myself.
So I went ahead and ignored everyone who told me how sex tourism and full moon parties had taken over and did my own research instead.
I can not stress this enough and I am probably just repeating myself at this point, but really do your own research. Everyone’s priorities are laid out differently and the more you learn about the place you’re about to go to the better you can actually decide what is worth your time and what you can go without.
Through researching is how I found out that yes, there is definitely a lot of party tourism around Phuket, and the whole of Thailand really ( I was surprised by the amount of bars advertising cheap alcohol in Kanchanaburi, a relatively small town that was only relevant to us due to its proximity to the Erawan waterfalls.)
I actively looked for the places that are most known for partying, then I booked a hotel as far away as possible.
In Koh Tao, the north-west area around sairee beach seemed to be the area where most of the parting went on, so I found a super nice and quiet hotel in the southern part of the island.
When it came to the Andaman sea, staying in Krabi instead of Phuket proved to be a great compromise, that allowed me to see all the places I had heard so much of and discover new ones without giving up some peace and quiet.
Krabi town ended up feeling way less like a compromise and more like the place I wanted to be all along. Everything was in close proximity so I could walk across town and I loved the night markets that offered amazing food. No excessive party tourism in sight.
So to anyone out there with similar troubles planing for their upcoming trip to Thailand, you can definitely have a calm vacation without being surrounded by drunkenness, but it might also be nice to know that the next bar is not going to be far … just in case.
Enjoy the best of both worlds